Treating Axolotl Ammonia Burns: A Guide to Recovery

Axolotls are a species of aquatic salamander native to Mexico and Central America, and they have been gaining popularity as exotic pets in recent years. While these animals can be hardy creatures, one issue that axolotl owners must be aware of is the potential for ammonia burns. Ammonia burn is a condition caused by high levels of ammonia in the water, which can cause serious skin damage.

In this article, we will discuss what causes ammonia burn in axolotls and how it can be prevented or treated in order to keep your pet healthy and happy.

What is Axolotl Ammonia Burn?

Axolotl ammonia burn is a skin condition caused by high levels of toxic ammonia in their water. This can cause serious damage to the axolotl’s skin and often results in open wounds, ulcers, and scarring.

What Causes High Ammonia Levels?

High levels of ammonia are usually caused by poor water quality, such as not changing out enough water or having too many fish or other animals in the tank. Additionally, if an axolotl’s tank is overcrowded, there may be more waste which can lead to higher levels of ammonia.

How Can You Prevent Ammonia Burns?

The most effective way to prevent your axolotls from developing ammonia burns is to maintain good water quality in the tank. This includes performing regular water changes (at least once a week), using a filter system to remove toxins from the water, and monitoring the amount of food fed so that uneaten food does not break down and increase toxin levels. Additionally, you should make sure that there are plenty of places for your pet to hide so that it feels safe and secure.

How Can You Treat Ammonia Burns?

  • If your axolotl has already developed an ammonia burn due to high levels of toxins in its environment, then it’s important to take steps immediately to treat the issue. The first step is removing your pet from this environment until it has healed completely; otherwise further damage could occur.
  • In some cases antibiotics may be prescribed by a veterinarian if bacterial infections have occurred due to open wounds on the skin. It’s also important to ensure that the wound area remains clean throughout treatment with sterile gauze or non-iodized salt baths.
  • Additionally, using products specifically designed for treating burns on amphibians can help speed up healing time and reduce inflammation.

Steps for Treating Ammonia Burns on Axolotls

Ammonia is a toxic gas that can cause serious burns in axolotls. If your axolotl has suffered an ammonia burn, it’s important to take the right steps to ensure their recovery.

Step 1: Change the Water

The first step is to immediately change the water and remove any traces of ammonia from the water. Use clean, dechlorinated water with salt added to help reduce irritation from the burn. Make sure you use a siphon or pump when removing old water.

Step 2: Apply Antiseptic Cream

Once you have changed out the water, apply antiseptic cream to affected areas of skin. This will help protect against infection and speed up healing. Make sure not to use too much as this could irritate your axolotl’s skin further.

Step 3: Monitor Your Axolotl Closely

After applying antiseptic cream, monitor your axolotl closely over the next few days. Look out for signs of infection such as discoloration or swelling, which may indicate that antibiotics are needed.

Step 4: Add Stress Coat To The Water

Stress coat helps protect sensitive gill tissue and promotes healing in injured fish by forming a protective barrier around them. Adding stress coat regularly during treatment can help promote faster recovery from ammonia burns.

Step 5: Increase Oxygen Levels

Ammonia burns can cause oxygen levels in your tank to drop dramatically, so make sure you increase oxygen levels with an air stone or filter. Keeping oxygen levels high will help your axolotl heal more quickly.

Signs and Symptoms of Ammonia Burns in Axolotls

Ammonia burns can be a serious health concern for axolotls, so it’s important to know the signs and symptoms. If your axolotl is showing any of these signs, it’s essential to take them to a vet immediately:

Skin Irritation

The most obvious sign that your axolotl has been exposed to ammonia is skin irritation. This may present as redness or inflammation of the skin, which may be accompanied by itching and/or burning sensations. In severe cases, the skin may become discolored or even ulcerated.


Exposure to high levels of ammonia can cause lethargy in axolotls. Your pet may show signs of fatigue or listlessness, refusing food and water or just lying around instead of swimming actively like normal.

Labored Breathing

Ammonia exposure can also affect an axolotl’s breathing rate; they may start breathing rapidly or laboring with each breath due to irritation of the gills caused by ammonia buildup.

Weight Loss

If left untreated, prolonged exposure to high levels of ammonia can lead to weight loss in your pet due to lack of appetite and nutrition intake. Weight loss along with other symptoms such as lethargy should prompt you to seek veterinary care right away.

Can Axolotls Heal Themselves from Ammonia Burns

Unfortunately, no, axolotls cannot heal themselves from ammonia burns. Ammonia burns can be extremely serious, and can lead to infection and organ failure. In severe cases, the affected areas may need to be surgically removed. The best way to prevent ammonia burns is to keep the axolotl’s tank clean and free from high levels of ammonia.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, axolotls can suffer from ammonia burns when their tanks are not properly maintained. It is important to regularly check the water quality and make sure that the tank conditions remain optimal for your axolotl’s health.

There are a few signs of an ammonia burn, such as redness on the gills and mouth area, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Treatment may include replacing part or all of the water in the tank, adding a dechlorinator, treating with antibiotics if necessary, and possibly considering long-term changes to reduce waste accumulation in the tank.

While these steps may help treat an ammonia burn in your pet axolotl, it is best to prevent these issues before they arise by closely monitoring water quality and making any adjustments needed to maintain optimal tank conditions for your axolotl’s health.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top